new york fashion week
While Fashion Week is not quite over, it is for me. It's SO chaotic & I'm such a mellow person. In the beginning I get super excited but by the end I have no juice left. I could go on and on about the shows & how amazing it was to see x-y-z celeb but you can read that a million other places. What I really want to talk about is why I think Fashion Week is so important to attend for anyone in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle or marketing space. Professionally, it is a huge mistake not to go.

By no means, am I an expert when it comes to blogging, branding, PR etc. but I've been in the business for a while now in many capacities, blogging is just one. For those of you that don't know me personally, I want to give you some insight to my professional experience before I share my opinions...

Among other ventures, I run a digital marketing agency, THB Marketing House which I've rolled The Haute Brunette into as a current project. We offer creative digital solutions for growing, transitioning and improving brand presence online.

Current Projects:
+ Branding for lifestyle products with an emphasis on fashion & beauty - The Haute Brunette
+ Content / reviews for emerging beauty brand - A Complete
+ Development and Consulting for the new online media platform - BFROW (I am also on their Advisory Board)
+ Healthcare lead generation through affiliate marketing & targeted emails - Healthcare.com & Advisemyhealth.com
+ Healthcare lead generation, email marketing and sales - USHEALTH Advisors

So there is a little more to me than what you see on Instagram. Like I said, I am not an expert but I have been successful in this line of work for about 5 years and I want to shed some light from my experience to anyone in the digital marketing space or wanting to break into it.

Before I lived in New York and before The Haute Brunette, I was fashion OBSESSED. For my entire life, literally from when I can remember, I carefully chose my outfits every night for the next day. I took it really seriously. Back then, the thought of Fashion Week was a dream.

Fast forward...

I started The Haute Brunette and I still sort of felt that way. Even living in New York, with the website and brand, I hardly felt any closer or 'connected' than I was living on the West Coast, I was just physically closer.

lanyu runway
Lanyu Runway at Skylight Clarkson Square
2 years ago, I got my first invite. I was so excited but so stressed at the same time. It was literally a few months after I quit my office job & decided to go full rogue #girlboss and tell the corporate wold to go fuck itself, literally. Sounds empowering but I had like $100 in my checking account and a business plan written on a notepad. I was so stressed about money, it's all I could think about. So, I tossed the invite and thought to myself, "who has time for this shit, I need to work". I even declined an event where I was going to meet Oprah. Yes, THE Oprah! So many regrets...

At that point, I had sort of built up these nasty thoughts about Fashion Week, like I had more important things to do. I am also an introvert so it's in my nature to hide away from things that are overwhelming and uncomfortable. Needless to say, I blew off the shows for another season.

After a year of plugging away, working day and night on building my brand and learning everything I could about the digital marketing space, I decided it was time to "take off work" and go to NYFW Fall 2015. Honestly, I didn't really see the big picture.

Anniesa Hasibuan runway


THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION & BIGGEST MISTAKE I'VE MADE AS A BUSINESS OWNER...


Just because you're not sitting in front of your computer or on the clock earning a salary doesn't mean that you're not working. If you own your own business, you're a blogger etc., you need to be networking, setting up meetings, attending events & classes because that IS WORK & you need to make it part of your schedule. I've always known work to be so formal. Just remember, if you are you're own boss, you are the only person you have to answer to so take advantage of the times you get to hustle and forge those relationships. Make it worth while and you won't feel like it's an extracurricular activity.

I honestly always considered these types of events to be things you do after the 'work' is done. It's crazy, when you start thinking about the future instead of the present. You will see major improvements professionally - this is a great tip for everything in your life. You need to be doing something everyday that is going to further your business years from now. Think long term. Think relationships. Relationships literally last a lifetime.

Fashion Week is all about the NETWORKING and relationships. I am telling you right now, if you aren't out there networking you are making a mistake and if you're not doing everything in your power to make it to this event you are making a mistake.

I get it, it's expensive, but so is the camera or photographer you use to capture those insta worthy shots, or your computer or website developer etc. This is a business investment and if you're serious about growing your brand, making those investments are important.

There are also so many ways to make it an affordable trip if you are from out of town. First, read my travel hacker guide (here)- it's all you need to know about finding affordable airfare. Since I wrote that I've already bought a ticket to Croatia for $350 so, I humbly declare myself an expert on airfare.

If you don't have a friend to stay with in New York, you can contact hotels to see if they will sponsor your trip. Bloggers, influencers, celebs, everyone does this. Click here to see the generic email I send to hotel groups. You can make it your own & even change it around to use when contacting PR companies & other brands. Also, if you sign up with Fashion Influencer Networks they can help you navigate events like this. For example, Style Collective got a room block with lower rates for the bloggers in their network. There are SO many ways to make this happen. If you have questions send me an email!

new york fashion week
photo by Noah Benus Photography
Most importantly, physically and emotionally (for the introverts like me & those of you that work from home) putting yourself out there to network is seriously priceless and SO important. I'll admit, I was nervous AF to go to a show or event alone. The thing is, most of the people are alone too & once you get down to it, you are all there for the same reason, no matter what industry you're in or event you're attending. For how uncomfortable I thought I would be, it felt incredible to be surrounded by my peers, people doing and wanting the same things as me, hustling and making their dreams a reality.

Above all else, the friendships you'll make are worth everything. They need you just as much as you need them. If you're a blogger, finding a support system is key. Not everyone understands what we do and it can get lonely.

Anniesa Hasibuan runway
Frow with blogger babe Stephanie from Fashion Roll
Anyway, each season I come out with so many more business opportunities than before, brand partnerships and MAJOR inspo for literally everything in life. It's like the brainstorm session of all brainstorm sessions, you'll come out feeling fresh with a million new ideas... and I'm not even talking about the clothes! Although, that's enough to make your head explode.

I hope this was helpful and motivating to those not knowing wether or not they should attend. If you're not in the fashion or marketing space, networking is equally important if you want to have a badass business! Send me an email if you have any questions. I will write a follow up post before Fall Fashion Week on how to get invites etc!

xo
MY FASHION WEEK MUST-HAVES